Sports & Recreation(Archives)
The Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo in the Community
When an organization’s vision statement sets out the goal to make a difference in the region every day, it is clear the bar has been set high for what the individuals in the organization hope to achieve. This vision is the driving force behind the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo, better known as the RRC and the operators of the facilities at MacDonald Island Park and the Anzac Recreation Centre presented by Nexen Energy, a CNOOC Limited Company.
The ONE Team staff of the RRC, which is the moniker they have adopted as part of their role in the communities of the Wood Buffalo region, work every day to make that difference through a variety of programs and services delivered through the RRC, including several community-focused initiatives designed to bring new experiences in sport and recreation to community residents.
Before the transition from MacDonald Island Park Corporation to the RRC in 2014 the team embarked on an exciting program named “Mi KIDS”, an initiative designed to assist children and youth of the region who may meet financial barriers to participation in sport, recreation and arts and culture opportunities. The Mi KIDS program provides financial assistance to local youth to cover costs such as registration fees, equipment or other fees that may discourage youth without access to these funds to participate in their chosen sport or activity. The program is supported within the RRC through proceeds from the sale of the Mi KIDS Roots 73 clothing line, a contribution of five per cent from all facility partnerships and individual, corporate and organizational donations. The success of the program and the opportunity it created to assist local youth ensured that when MacDonald Island Park Corporation transitioned to the RRC, an organization with a mandate to deliver excellence in sport, recreation and event experiences across the region, it continued to be part of the focus of the new organization. Mi KIDS assists local youth from across the region, allowing them to participate in their chosen sport and activities barrier-free.
As a companion program to Mi KIDS the Mi COACH program offers similar financial assistance, but in this instance directed at adults or older youth who may wish to improve their coaching skills. The vision of Mi COACH is to support the Mi KIDS program by ensuring coaches across all sports in Wood Buffalo have access to the tools required to succeed. With a stated mission to foster coaching excellence in all sports in Wood Buffalo through enriched programs and training and mentorship opportunities for coaches, the Mi COACH program provides an opportunity for coaches to develop their own skills and further contribute to the community through their own coaching initiatives in their chosen sports. The Mi COACH program was brought to life with a $25,000 donation from Suncor Energy, which generously provided the seed funding to get the program started. Continued funding through corporate, organization and individual contributions and all proceeds from the sale of the Mi COACH Roots 73 clothing line contribute to the sustainability of the program. Mi COACH, in alignment with Mi KIDS, is designed to ensure that finances are not a barrier to skill development or participation in sports or activities in the Wood Buffalo region.
Programs such as Mi KIDS and Mi COACH are only a small part of the vision to make a difference every day at the RRC, though. A variety of grassroots initiatives also work to achieve that difference, including the youth golf program through the Miskanaw Golf Club at MacDonald Island Park. This program is provided free of charge to local schools, with golf professionals from the Miskanaw Golf Club visiting schools to offer education in golf basics, such as safety, etiquette and attitude, to local youth. In just a few short visits the golf professionals have introduced the sport to over 1,100 local youth just this year alone, and it is estimated that since the program began over 7,000 local youth have had the opportunity to swing a golf club in a safe, controlled and expert-supervised setting.
“Programs such as Mi KIDS and Mi COACH, as well as initiatives such as the youth golf program through the Miskanaw Golf Club, are key components of the role of the RRC in the communities of the Wood Buffalo region,” says Russell Agnew, Interim Chief Operating Officer of the RRC. “Part of the vision to make a difference in our region every day is to ensure we are providing opportunities to those who may face financial challenges or who may never have the chance to try a sport like golf. We believe at the RRC that in order to make a difference we need to reach out into the communities of the region, and ONE Team is proud to be part of a community-focused organization that creates and delivers those opportunities.”